Category Archives: Media Literacy

What Does YouTube Teach Us About Education?

Over the past few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about how social media relates to education.  I’ve become especially interested in media literacy and the importance of helping students understand how media impacts them.   For example, I often ask myself:

What are the benefits of embracing media as a teaching tool?

What can media teach us about the way students learn?

Why is understanding the Internet and the use of media so important in education?

I’ve been most inspired by Professor Mike Wesch, cultural anthropologist at Kansas State University, who studies the impact that social media and technology has on our culture, it’s importance in the creation and dissemination of knowledge, and on the participatory nature of Internet.   The tagline for his blog, Digital Ethnography: Mediated Cultures, is “Our work explores how humans use media, how media uses us, and how we can use new media to reveal our insights in new ways.”

For a deeper and more fascinating look at digital ethnography, see > An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube, presented at the Library of Congress, June 23rd 2008.    The lecture is long, but well worth the investment of time.  At least watch the first 13 minutes!

You might be asking, “What does this have to do with high school?”

Well, Wesch is especially interested in how social media engages students and how social media changes the platform of teaching and learning from teacher-centered to student-centered.  He often refers to this as “participatory” teaching and learning.  I love his work because I believe that understanding how our students use media is critical to designing lessons that engage them and that promote critical thinking and problem solving.

One of my favorite lectures given by Wesch is, “From Knowledgeable to Knowledge Able,” Uploaded by on Oct 12, 2010.  THIS IS A MUST SEE!

I end with a rhetorical question for the day, “How are you preparing your students to solve the problems of tomorrow’s world?”

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Media Literacy